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#WC2018: Colombia vs Japan is 1-1 after dramatic 1st half

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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SARANSK, Russia (AP) — It's 1-1 in the World Cup game between Colombia and Japan after a dramatic first half.

Japan defied expectations by taking an early lead over vaunted Colombia, which managed to equalise in the 39th despite being a man down since the opening three minutes.

Juan Quintero's rolling but well-place free kick from just outside the penalty area sneaked inside the post, just past the outstretched hand of diving Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

Japan had the lead before six minutes had elapsed, thanks to a defensive breakdown that gave Japan two promising shots on goal.

David Ospina blocked the first while charging out of the net, taking him out of position for the rebound.

Carlos Sanchez tried to block the second, but committed a hand ball in the penalty area. Slovenian referee Damir Skomina did not hesitate to pull out a red card, meaning Sanchez was out for the remainder of Colombia's World Cup opener and its next game against Poland.

Japan capitalised on Shinji Kagawa's penalty shot, slotted cleanly inside the right post.

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